Vegans believe that there is no such thing as ‘humane meat’.
Regardless of the conditions in which the animal is kept, the fact is that if they are intended to be consumed as meat they will be killed when they have only lived a tiny fraction of their natural life span. For example pigs are slaughtered at six to nine months old when they could live for 10-12 years (source).
Animals from so-called ‘happy meat’ farms end up in the same abattoirs as animals from intensive farms and are killed in the same way, with a captive bolt gun to the head before having their throat slit. Contrast this with what we would normally consider a humane death for a companion animal – being ‘put to sleep’ by a vet only when the animal is very old or terminally suffering, using anaesthetics to make it as pain free as possible.
Killing an animal when he or she is still young and healthy isn’t usually considered a humane thing to do, and even less so when it’s unnecessary. To consider things from the animal’s point of view, they probably don’t feel any better about being killed even though they may have had a relatively pain free life.
Their quality of life isn’t guaranteed either – some ‘humane’ farms have been found to be in breach of their own guidelines, for example Hillside Animal Sanctuary has investigated farms that sign up to the RSPCA’s Freedom Food scheme and found terrible welfare standards (source). Vegans hold the view that animals are not there for us to use, no matter what – and the only way to be sure that animals have not been harmed for your dinner is to eat plant-based meals.
For more information check out our Animals section.